Champaign, Ill. - The Illinois women's golf team won its third tournament of the spring season in record fashion and senior Laurin Kanda earned medalist honors for the first time in her collegiate career as the Illini captured the team title today at the annual Illini Spring Classic, held at the par 72, 5,842-yard Stone Creek Golf Club. Illinois won the 9-team tournament with a score of 596, setting a school record for lowest 36-hole tournament score. The Illini shattered the 22-year old school record by 20 strokes, with the previous record being 616 set in 1981 at the Indiana Invitational.
'It felt so good to be home at Stone Creek, and I think our team really enjoyed being able to compete in front of friends and family these past two days,' Head Coach Paula Smith said. 'This was an exciting weekend where everyone on played solid golf and we were able to set some school records along the way to winning the tournament. I'm especially happy for our great group of seniors. It's fitting that they go out winners in their last home tournament, because they've meant so much to our program.'
Leading the way for the Illini was senior Laurin Kanda. After setting a new course and school record with a 5-under par 67 yesterday, she earned medalist honors by carding a 77 today to finish the tournament at even par with a total score of 144, breaking her own school record for lowest 36-hole individual score. The previous record was 145 set by Kanda last fall at the Shootout at The Legends. Kanda not only won the first individual title of her career today, she becomes the first Illinois golfer to earn medalist honors since Becky Biehl won two tournaments during the 1994-95 season.
'I'm really excited about winning, especially since this is my senior year and this was the last home tournament,' Kanda said, 'This is such a special way to wrap up my career at Illinois.'
Four other Illini players joined Kanda in the Top 10 of the individual standings. Senior Renata Young finished second with a score of 148 (+4), tying her career-high individual finish. Junior Marla Cox tied for fourth after shooting a 75 today to give her a 36-hole score of 152 (+8). In addition, junior Michelle Carroll tied for sixth at 153 (+9), and senior Stephanie Cheney finished ninth with a 154 (+10).
Illinois returns to action April 25-27 to compete at the Big Ten Championships at the University of Iowa.
FINAL RESULTS Illini Spring Classic
Stone Creek G.C. Urbana, IL
Dates: 04/18 - 04/19
Fin. School Scores
1 Illinois, U. of 295 301 596 +20
2 Grand Valley State 308 323 631 +55
3 Ball State 319 323 642 +66
4 Eastern Illinois 318 325 643 +67
5 Indianapolis, U. of 319 339 658 +82
Ferris State Univ. 330 328 658 +82
7 SIU Edwardsville 344 348 692 +116
8 Truman State Univ. 351 374 725 +149
9 Tennessee State 408 424 832 +256
Fin. Name School Scores
1 Laurin Kanda Illinois 67 77 144 E
2 Renata Young Illinois 73 75 148 +4
3 Kim Moore Indy, U of 70 80 150 +6
4 Kathryn Bobbie Ferris St. 78 74 152 +8
Marla Cox Illinois 77 75 152 +8